Wednesday, April 26, 2023

2023 trade package #9: Sports Cards From the Dollar Store

It's been more than a couple weeks since I last posted, mostly due to the usual procrastination and distractions, this time with a bit of life thrown in. That said, I haven't given up on covering the piles of cards on my desk, especially the blogger trades from some very cool people.

For the second straight year, Michigan Hockey's season ended in disappointment in the NCAA semi-finals, this time to eventual champ Quinnipiac (who's ok in my book for beating Minnesota!). All the same, it was a great year for a star-studded team that certainly lived up to the historically great program's expectations.

The person I trade with who's boosted my Wolverine Hockey collection with cards of the program's past stars more than anyone else (except, maybe--maybe--myself) is Doug over at Sports Cards From the Dollar Store, and earlier this month he treated me to more of his trademark generosity from across the border. There's lots of hockey to check out and plenty more too!
We'll open things up with Bowman Chrome and Heritage Minors of some of the Tigers' prospects. The two double-"J"s are among the team's top farm players, and Greene has shown plenty of flashes. Paredes, of course, was flipped to Tampa in another one of those ill-fated "Will Detroit ever develop and keep an infield prospect?" deals.
Among the notables here are a 2007 Topps Red Back parallel of Bondo, a Fleer All-Star insert pairing up the well known Fryman with HOFer Craig Biggio, a Matt Manning that's "OMG eBay 1/1 100/100 last one!" (which is extra cool), a sweet recent Stadium Club base of Cal, and a Heritage insert of prospect Wenceel Perez. Nice stuff!
The baseball group ends with a bang! First is a Leaf Flash autograph of former Portage Northern and UM pitcher Tommy Henry, who got nine starts last year and one so far in '23. It's gaudy--it is Leaf after all--but the mostly Michigan uniform-ness makes it a winner. Joining him is my first hit of ex-#1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson. Nobody knows what to make of him but I think he still has plenty of time to show what he's capable of, especially if the team can stop messing with the swing he had success with before they got their dirty mitts on him.

Like I said, there's lots of UM Hockey to cover but there were also a few of the local pro team as well including a fun pair of stickers.
The Michigan Football contingent all fits in one scan with room to spare. From the non-hit group I especially like the brand new Aidan Hutchinson, and I recently learned that the blue Select cards are the retail version which explains why they seem to be way more prevalent to me than the "regular" base, which I now know as the hobby set. The Nico auto, which may be a Mojo parallel or one of about a million other variations, is just as loud as the earlier Leaf auto we saw but no less appreciated--it's just my second of the stud WR, and just like the Henry it's a college card, so thumbs up! To that Doug added a nice relic of Collins' WR predecessor Amara Darboh, and the numbered hit with a large swatch is my 48th of him. It's apparently a rare instance of a Darboh I have that Jeff doesn't, though I wouldn't be shocked if he rectified that soon.
The hockey content did not remotely disappoint, and most of it this time seemed to hail from a few products like 17-18 Compendium, 21-22 OPC, and 22-23 Upper Deck. They all look quite nice but I think the latter happens to be an especially good effort by UD. Out of this group the Jets' Kyle Connor has one playoff goal thus far.
Oh that's a nice Dylan Larkin! The captain tied his career highs with 32 goals and 47 assists in '23 but did them in the same season for the first time, so his 79 points were a career best. He led the team in all of those categories and also signed an eight-year extension, so I'm happy he'll be around Hockeytown for a while longer. The Young Guns of Will Lockwood that follows is my first of  four-year Wolverine, so that was a fun find in the envelope. We'll see more of a couple of the guys in the next scan, but for now the pairing of Montoya goalie action cards was pretty nifty too!
The non-hits stuff finishes up with an awesome Turco action shot and trio of additional recent UD issues that include outstanding photography and design. How cool is that Larkin, tho?!

As for the biggest cards, two of them star former Wolverine-turned Devil-turned Golden Knight-turned Wing-turned Canadien-turned Wild: Jon Merrill. He's popped up a good amount in Doug's previous packages and got another nice boost this time with a very nice autograph and oversized jersey swatch. The pair gives him 13 hits, good for a tie with fellow buckstorecards package stalwart Chris Brown for 7th in the hockey collection. He's joined by another well-travelled vet still active in the playoffs, Tyler Motte. His 8th hit is a gorgeous UD Premier jersey/auto/RC with a beautiful three-color swatch from a jersey of the team that drafted him, the Blackhawks (he's now with the Rangers). Bonus points for the jersey number added to the signature plus serial numbering to boot.

Doug, thanks again for another killer package! I know you've already started posting some of what I sent back your way, and I hope you've had a chance to pick out some Presstine repacks for even more blog content.

As for me, I don't know how quickly I'll be back with the next envelope, but I'll work on it!


  1. Replies
    1. It may have taken a long time for me to cover but my excitement for this one was definitely high. Doug's one of the best in the hobby :)

    2. I really should be in every post of a Tommy Henry card w/ "fellow Portage Northern Granduate...."
      Ha Ha! Go Huskies! Go Blue!

    3. That's why I mention PNHS!

  2. Very cool of Doug to pull out all of these UM guys for your PC. I know when I try and find Wolverines for you... the card has to either say Michigan on the front or the guys have to be pretty well known alumni. I'm always blown away by just how many professional athletes UM produces.

    1. I totally get it which is why I don't expect anyone to go to the trouble of looking over lists of Michigan players if they don't want to. It's just that when they do I really appreciate it! Then again, I'm happy to get any new cards for those collections. Doug is amazing at keeping track of all of those guys, and like I said, points to him for when he sends me newer guys like Will Lockwood!

  3. Great stuff as always. It was a shocker to me that Michigan lost, but I can't complain about Quinipiac taking the title.

    This year's UD set is really nice. I'm actually thinking of building the base set, for the first time since 2015-16. We'll see if I have enough space on my shelf.

    1. Single-elimination college hockey is always chaos so I can't complain even if Michigan's had like one Frozen Four win in their last bunch of games. They'll get another one soon, I bet.

      I hope you do end up working on the UD set, and I'll see if I can't help you build it if you do decide to go for it!

  4. I'm amazed that you of all people would still need anything from 1990 Pro Set or Score!

    1. I don't but I appreciate Doug throwing them in when he finds them in his repacks anyway